Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist starts renovation project

By Sarah Winkelmann| April 14, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT – Updated April 14 at 5:44 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – An iconic symbol in downtown Savannah is about to get some updates to its current space.

On Wednesday, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah blessed the start of the renovation project at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The $4.5 million project will convert the church’s undercroft, what’s essentially the church’s basement, into a parish hall.

Once the project is complete, the space will include a reception hall with seating for 600 people, an expanded chapel, a catering kitchen and new vesting cabinets. The new downstairs will match the beauty of the cathedral with vaulted ceilings, decorated columns and a marble floor.

“I think it is going to be a space that people will be proud of and happy to go into,” said Rev. Gerry Schreck, the rector of the Cathedral. “Though it is the undercroft of the cathedral, it’s going to be an uplifting type of experience for people.”

The demolition work is already finished but now the renovation project will begin. The church expects the project should be complete in 12 months.

Watch the full story on WTOC.COM

West Construction Company Receives Two Build Georgia Awards for Local Projects

West Construction Company was recently recognized by the Associated General Contractors of Georgia (AGC Georgia) with two Build Georgia Awards for the construction of local projects, the Tybee Island Marine Science Center and the Scottish Rite Masonic Center. 

The Tybee Island Marine Center received a prestigious first-place honor from the AGC. A state of the art 10,000 square foot facility, the center was designed to “bring the outside in” with 270-degree panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Built for the City of Tybee Island, the center features hands-on exhibits and galleries, an amphitheater, and a number of sustainable design features including a rainwater cistern, locally sourced sustainable building materials, and energy-efficient systems. The project team included West Construction, architect Sottile & Sottile, and engineer Kern & Co., LLC. 

The Scottish Rite Masonic Center received an award of merit from the AGC for the 2021 Build Georgia Awards. After being located on Bull Street for over 100 years, the new home for one of Savannah’s longest philanthropic organizations is now located off of Chatham Parkway. The new 24,000 square foot facility features a unique combination of old-world materials and craftsmanship with state-of-the-art energy-efficient components. The design includes multiple exterior ornamental columns, detailed brick, and cast stone exterior, and the largest hardscape mosaic of the Scottish Rite Double Eagle in North America. Inside, the building features a combination of detailed tile flooring, stained oak trim and casework, a full commercial kitchen, a library, and multiple gathering and ceremonial rooms. The project was designed by Peterson Gordon Architects and Coleman Company served as civil engineers. 

AGC Georgia is the leading, statewide trade association representing the commercial construction industry in Georgia. The organization holds an annual awards competition where projects are judged on their ability to demonstrate excellence in several categories including exceptional project safety performance, overcoming the challenges of a difficult project, innovation in construction techniques and materials, excellence in project management and scheduling, and dedication to client service and customer care. The selection panel includes industry professionals and hundreds of projects are submitted annually. 

Award recipients are recognized at the AGC’s annual convention and also featured in a special construction-focused supplement in the June issue of Atlanta Business Chronicle. 

New Enmarket convenience store opens in Pooler, creates 20 jobs

Savannah Morning News

The new Pooler store becomes the 128th store in the growing Savannah-based chain of convenience stores.

Last week, Enmarket opened its latest new store in Pooler.

The new store at 1264 U.S. Highway 80 East, at its corner with Pine Barren Road, is a travel center, serving both regular travelers and heavy truck traffic.

The new Pooler store – Enmarket’s fourth in the west Chatham municipality – becomes the 128th store in the growing Savannah-based chain of convenience stores. Beginning in 2020, The chain’s expansion in Chatham County went from the eastern coastal municipality of Thunderbolt to the explosively growing west Chatham area, including Port Wentworth.

The basic “bones” of the newest building became the fourth store built to Enmarket’s new prototype store design. Like the store that opened earlier this year in Port Wentworth, this iteration is a travel center adapted to dual roles for truck traffic and consumer motorists.

Enmarket expansion:Enmarket opens new store in Thunderbolt

“Growth in the Pooler area called for an additional store, and it needed to be a travel center to serve the diverse demands in that area. You have the growing residential population in that area to serve, and that area of the county is also a pipeline into the Port of Savannah, calling for truck services,” said Brett Giesick, president of Enmarket.

The new Pooler store becomes the 128th store in the growing Savannah-based chain of convenience stores.

The new store offers The Eatery, Enmarket’s signature kitchen, which will offer hot food for all three meals as well as freshly made grab-and-go food options, bean-to-cup coffee and Mooz frozen yogurt. The fuel selection is unleaded, mid-grade, premium, non-ethanol, diesel and truck diesel. Customers looking to bypass the checkout line will have the option of using self-service registers or their mobile phone, utilizing mobile checkout technology with the Skip Checkout app.

New design:Enmarket opens newly rebuilt store

The opening of the store created about 20 jobs.

The four Enmarket stores that have opened in the past 10 months are strategically based around Chatham County – the growing commercial area developing around U.S. Highway 17 and Chatham Parkway, a Port Wentworth store whose clientele includes truck traffic serving the Port of Savannah, a Thunderbolt store in eastern Chatham serving as a gateway to the suburban islands, and the newly opened location serving the fast-growing Pooler area. All four are variations on the modern prototype.

West Construction was the general contractor on the new store.

Construction moving along on new Tybee Island Marine Science Center

By Zach Logan| July 9, 2019 at 10:40 AM EDT – Updated July 9 at 10:40 AM

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) – Next summer, there could be a new attraction to visit on Tybee Island.

Construction continues on the new Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Right now, the center is located on the south end of the island near the pier. But soon, the staff will be moving to the north end of the island near North Beach Bar and Grill.

The Tybee Island Marine Science Center and the City of Tybee Island broke ground on the new building back in February. For several months now, crews have been working to get this building constructed.

Cathy Sakas, Board President for the Marine Science Center, says the center is continuing to educate more children and their families. At last check, the center’s “Sidewalk to the Sea” Program had reached more than 40,000 children.

With growing classroom sizes and the current building in need of major repairs, those with the Marine Science Center decided they needed a new facility.

With the new facilty moving to the north end of the island, that area will offer several educational attractions, and the island is hoping to make it the educational hub of Tybee.

Sakas says they have plans for several different exhibits inside the new building, but still need funds to do so. Those wishing to donate to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center are asked to contact the center directly.